IRS Form 4868

If you need extra time to complete your tax return because of work, a family emergency, or just general disorganization, you can ask the Internal Revenue Service for a six-month filing extension by submitting the appropriate form. Anything you need to know about requesting a tax extension, from deadlines and documents to particular guidelines, is provided below.

What is IRS Form 4868 ?

Form 4868 is a tax form used by individuals to request an extension of time to file their federal income tax return. The form is officially called "Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return."

Filing Form 4868 grants individuals an additional six months to file their tax return. Individuals who owe taxes should estimate the amount owed and pay it by the original filing deadline (usually April 15th) to avoid penalties and interest.

Individuals who owe taxes should estimate the amount owed and pay it by the original due date of the tax return to avoid penalties and interest. However, if the estimated tax payment is not made by the original due date, penalties and interest may apply even if the individual files for an extension.

By filing Form 4868, taxpayers can receive an additional six months to file their tax return, which means the new due date would be October 15th. Form 4868 can be filed electronically or by mail and must be submitted by the original filing deadline of the tax return.

Key Facts of Form 4868

  • Form 4868 is a tax form used by individuals in the United States to request an automatic extension of time to file their federal income tax return. 
  • You must submit the 4868 form before the April 15th tax filing date in order to request an extension.
  • You can extend your tax return due date until October by six months by filling out this form and forwarding it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  • Filing an extension does not extend the deadline for paying any taxes owed.
  • Any IRS-issued extension only pertains to the paperwork.
  • Taxes owed may not be paid after filing Form 4868. The tax deadline still applies, and late payments will be subject to interest and penalties.
  • Either electronically or by mailing a paper form, you can file a tax extension.
  • By obtaining an extension, you can file your 2022 tax returns from October 16, 2023 instead of April 18, 2023.

Who Can File Form 4868 ?

Form 4868 can be used by taxpayers who need additional time to gather their tax information, complete their tax return, or for any other reason. This form can be submitted by a U.S. citizen or resident who needs an automatic extension to file their individual income tax return.

Citizens or residents of the United States who are abroad on the due date are given an additional two months to file their returns and make any required payments without submitting Form 4868. The taxpayer who lives outside of the country will receive an additional four months after submitting this form.

Those considered to be "out of the country" by the IRS include :
  • Anyone whose primary place of employment is also located outside the United States and Puerto Rico.
  • Anyone in naval or military service on duty outside the United States and Puerto Rico.

Individual taxpayers should use Form 4868 instead of corporations or other business entities that are required to submit returns other than Form 1040.

How to File Form 4868 ?

If you need an extension of time to file your individual income tax return, you must file Form 4868 (Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return). The deadline for requesting an extension coincides with the regular due date for your tax return.

Names, addresses, Social Security numbers, an estimation of the total tax liability for the year, total payments made, the amount still owed, and any payments being made, if any, should be included on IRS form 4868 for single taxpayers and married couples.

By the tax filing deadline, the form must be submitted. April 18, 2023, is the deadline for submitting your 2022 taxes or requesting an extension. You'll have until October 16, 2023 to submit your 2022 tax return if you request an extension.

It costs nothing and is rather easy to ask for a delay. You can file form 4868 either electronically or by mailing a paper form. Here are the steps to file IRS Form 4868 :

1) Obtain a copy of Form 4868 : 
You can download Form 4868 from the IRS website or get it from a tax preparer.

2) Fill out the form : 
Provide your name, address, Social Security Number, estimated tax liability, and the amount of any tax payments you have made. You will also need to calculate your total tax liability and subtract any payments you've already made to determine the amount of tax you still owe.

3) Determine how you want to file : 
You can file Form 4868 electronically using IRS e-file or file a paper copy by mail.

4) Electronically file : 
If you choose to e-file, you can use IRS Free File or a tax software program that supports Form 4868.

5) Mail a paper copy : 
If you choose to file a paper copy, you need to send Form 4868 to the address listed in the instructions for the form. The address varies depending on where you live and whether you are making a payment.

6) Submit payment : 
If you owe taxes, you should submit payment with your extension request to avoid interest and penalties. You can make a payment using IRS Direct Pay, a debit or credit card, or by mailing a check or money order with Form 4868.

7) Keep a copy : 
Make sure to keep a copy of your completed Form 4868 and any payment confirmation or proof of mailing for your records. Before the extension ends, you can file your tax return at any time, a copy of Form 4868 is not required to be included with the return.

If you request the extension and file by the new deadline, you will not be penalized for filing late. If you don't get the extension, your return will be subject to a 5% late filing penalty for each full or partial month that it is filed after the April 15th deadline. If your return is more than 60 days overdue, you must pay a minimum fine of $435 or the remaining total, whichever is less.

It's critical to remember that requesting an extension does not relieve you of responsibility for paying taxes that must be paid by the April deadline. Whether or not you file Form 4868, if you pay after the deadline, you may be subject to interest and penalties.

How to Get an IRS Form 4868 ?

You can download the all versions of Form 4868 on the IRS website or request to have a paper form mailed to you by filling out an order form on the IRS website. As an alternative, you can order a form by calling the IRS at 800-829-3676. There may also be copies in your local library or post office. Importantly, you can only file a paper Form 4868 if you are a fiscal year (rather than a calendar year) taxpayer. 

Approval of Tax Extension

You should get an email from the IRS within 24 hours verifying receipt of Form 4868 if you sent it to them online. You won't get an email if you submit a mail application; instead, you'll need to phone the IRS to verify that your request is being handled properly.

After you file a tax extension, the IRS won't get in touch with you unless there is a problem with it. Applications are typically denied because of small issues that are simple to resolve. The tax authority will typically give you a few days to correct the problems and resubmit the form precisely if it comes down to a misspelling or presenting information that doesn't match IRS records.

Frequently Asked Questions

What details must I provide on Form 4868?
A mere half page makes up Form 4868. A date or signature are not necessary. No justification is necessary when asking for an extension. You only need to fill out Part I with your name, address, Social Security number, and, if appropriate, the Social Security number of your spouse. After deducting the entire amount of taxes you have already paid for the year in part II, provide a good faith estimate of what you believe your ultimate taxes will be.

What is payment type 4868?
When you pay through Direct Pay, the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or a debit or credit card, you can automatically receive a payment extension. To receive the automatic extension while paying electronically, you must choose Form 4868 as the payment type and the payment date.

Who is eligible for form 4868?
The purpose of this form is to request an automatic extension of time to submit a U.S. individual income tax return from a U.S. citizen or resident.

Do I need to file form 4868, if I don't owe taxes?
You have three years from the filing date to file the return and obtain your refund if you are entitled to one; you do not need to request an extension if you are.

Is the Form 4868 e-fillable?
You can electronically submit your request for an extension for free via the IRS Free File website. Fillable Forms, a web tool provided by Free File, enables you to complete tax forms on the IRS website. You ought to be able to file for an extension using tax software. This feature is available on the first screen you view after logging in to the majority of reliable tax software programs. If you're utilizing a web app, you'll probably discover a link on the webpage. These applications will submit Form 4868 on your behalf.

Where to mail form 4868 ?
If you'd rather mail a copy of your extension request to the IRS by snail mail, the instructions for Form 4868 provide a page with a list of addresses. Depending on your state and whether you're including a payment, you might use a different address.

How do I apply for a tax extension?
By filling out and filing Form 4868, you can ask for more time to file your individual federal income tax returns. If no problems arise, submitting this form electronically or by mail should automatically extend the filing date by around six months.

Is there a penalty to filing for a tax extension?
No, filing for an tax extension does not incur a penalty. Not paying on time, not paying at all, or not paying enough is typically what results in fines. Even if you request an extension, you are still required to calculate and pay your tax amount by the standard filing time. If you don't pay everything you owe, the IRS will charge you interest up until your balance is paid in full. You can additionally incur a late payment fee if that turns out to be less than 90% of the total.

Do I have extra time to pay my taxes, if I file form 4868?
No, your payment is still required before the initial deadline, which is April 15 every year. You must transmit a payment of the estimated balance due if you send Form 4868 to the IRS. If you pay less than what is due, your interest and penalties will increase as your payment amount increases. Provide a copy of the electronically filed Form 4868 along with your check if you want to send a payment but file Form 4868 online. In this instance, the form serves as your voucher, ensuring that your check is appropriately credited to your tax account.